Top 5 Historic Landmarks in Santa Barbara
The beautiful city of Santa Barbara is well known for its rich history and cultural artifacts. Full of treasures to discover and colored with Spanish and Mexican heritage, the American Riviera is a fantastic destination for exploring and wandering. Much of the original Spanish influence remains in the city today, so you can see the stylistic and architectural remnants of the city’s history throughout the area. If you want a taste of Santa Barbara’s cultural history, check out these historic landmarks:
1. Casa del Herrero
Spanish for “House of the Blacksmith”, Casa del Herrero is perhaps the most well known and most classic example of cultural artifacts in Santa Barbara. This Spanish Colonial house is on the National Register of Historic Places and offers a stunning example of colonial architecture in the 1920s. The Montecito estate comprises 11 acres and a gorgeous, unique architectural style. You can book a tour of the estate on a Wednesday or Saturday throughout the year to explore the house and learn its story.
2. Old Mission Santa Barbara
Another chief cultural landmark in the city is the Old Mission. The mission was founded by Spanish Franciscans in 1786, and shows reflections of all the cultural influences that have played an important role in the city’s history, including Spanish, English, Asian, Mexican, and Chumash. Tour the Old Mission to see ancient artifacts and beautiful sculptures throughout the grounds.
3. Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park
The Chumash Painted Cave is one of the most well-preserved rock art sites in the entire state of California. Nestled in the peaceful hills of Santa Barbara, this state park is yet stunning. See some of the most breathtaking artifacts of the Chumash people within these caves and learn about their cultural history along the way. The staff can offer some insight into the meaning behind the artwork based on historian speculation. Contact La Purisima Mission State Historic Park for more information about this site.
4. The Courthouse
This sprawling and magnificent structure is one of the grandest Spanish Colonial Revival pieces of architecture ever constructed. Occupying an entire city block in downtown Santa Barbara, you can spend an entire day exploring The Courthouse. Get a panoramic view of the city at the top of the clock tower — a great photo op — and admire the historical hand painted murals as well as the sunken gardens.
5. Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens
For a trip both back in time and through nature, visit the Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens. The original site of El Mirasol Hotel, which was demolished in the 1960s, the memorial gardens comprises over 7.5 acres. With over 75 various species of plants and trees, you’ll find everything while exploring the gardens, and you can learn about the history of its location. This attraction is also completely free to visit and tour.